Monday, November 5, 2012

Ben Likes Bevmo and...Arrogant Bastard?

I have no qualms over the fact that, if you are reading this, you are likely my friend and are doing so as a small ode to this bond (thank you, you patronizing pal, you). Perhaps along the way you have come to respect my opinion on the godly nectar known as beer (Please?). Maybe you just happen to find my brand of sarcasm occasionally giggle inducing (Double Please?). Or maybe you wandered here after an evening of haphazard Googling (If so you're probably drunk and should therefore consider being my friend).

Regardless of what brings you here, I assume that if you're, here you are at least somewhat familiar with my life. For the uninitiated (looking at you, Gallivanting Googler), I don't do anything beer related for a living. I'm not a cicerone -- that is, a beer sommelier, but it's on my immediate to-do list, so stay tuned! - I'm just a guy who happens to like to write, drink beer, and figured combining the two seemed like a pretty solid idea (and not particularly risky, unlike other combinations involving beer).

So, no, I don't write for a living, either. Most you know I'm an aspiring 3D artist, and I'm not afraid to admit that California has more or less spit me out in terms of that dream. I have no intentions of giving up, of course, but there comes a point where reality comes crashing into your happy comfortable dream world with all the subtlety of an unconvincing drag queen blaring an air horn.

"I'm here for your soul." 

So that means finding another job. Well, I'm happy to announce that I've found some part time work to hold me over, and it's actually due in no small part to this blog. HUZZAH! I have started as seasonal associate and token beer bro for BevMo, a west coast booze proprietor, and I'm pretty excited about it. It also means that, in addition to sharing my passion and knowledge about one of truly most appreciated elements of my life, I get a store discount. This is perilous.

Perilously awesome. 

Training was today. As I was given a manila folder filled with hand outs about proper ID checking, wine label facing, and work related injuries, it was about as exciting as you might expect (though eased by a very cool manager who understood the innate lack of seriousness associated with the sales of a substance that is just so awesome), but there was a silver lining. "We have two bottles left of the limited edition Arrogant Bastard left. Do you want to buy one?"

Well, duh.

Lucky Bastard - "A Self Tribute to 15 Years of Arrogance" 
15th Anniversary Ale
Stone Brewing, Escondido, CA
8.5% ABV

I recognize that Stone makes quite a few appearances on my blog, and I admit I'm not entirely sure why that is. For one, it's readily available on both coasts, which does make it easier to write about so that both coasts I care about might actually take interest. But I think it's more like an old rival; not a friend, per se, but someone you've run into in the past and seem to enjoy the competition. I don't tend to love their odes to themselves (however tongue in cheek they may be), but touring their garden and brewery remains one of my favorite beer moments so it's hard to deny it a place in my beer soaked heart.

Lucky Bastard is their anniversary present to themselves, gaudily wrapped and ostentatiously given, with all of the Arrogant Bastard staples - aggressive hops, distinct bitterness, oddly self indulgent labels (this time jumbled in a barely comprehensive world scramble). But...*ahem* (to be said in your best Professor Farnsworth voice) GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!

Me, ready to party. 
I kinda like this one.

Or, at least, I don't hate it. The bitterness is here, like I said, but the way it spreads smoothly over your pallet is really nice. The hops here are classified (though the similarity to others in their line suggest maybe Chinook) but they manage to dissipates into a nice almost sweetness as it finishes. The ruby color and medium body go down smoothly with small gulps. It's a limited batch that just released on Halloween, and they recommend that you consume no later than January 2013. If you have any interest in a hoppy beer at all, try to seek this one out. They've earned their stripes this time, and maybe, just this once, they're more Confident than Arrogant Bastard.

As it were, I anticipate that I'm not going to be able to help myself from using this BevMo opportunity to broaden my horizons - try out new varieties, new countries, new breweries...if you have any requests of a beer you'd like me to try, let me know! Send me a facebook message or leave a comment here and I'll look for it.

Stay thirsty, my buds!